In a radio interview with KTAR Radio in Phoenix, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen reiterated that the Vikings are willing to wait for Brett Favre to return, even if it means a repeat scenario of last year.
Although this year is different – for much of training camp last year it seemed as though Favre wouldn’t be returning after telling the team he wouldn’t be coming back shortly before the start of camp – the timing could play out the same way.
When asked to elaborate on recent comments that Favre likely would have informed the Vikings if he wasn’t coming back, Allen said that nobody is blaming Favre for taking his time to return, adding that, if he was in the same position, he would likely do the same.
“If I make it 20 years, I would do the same thing,” Allen said. “I wouldn’t want to come to camp. I don’t know. I guess right now he is probably worried about recovering from surgery and we will see what happens. We made it through camp just fine last year without him and he showed up and we had a pretty good season. So I’m all for it. Let’s do it again.”
A year ago, Allen was vocal about the Vikings moving on without Favre when he initially said he wouldn’t be coming back and shot down the notion reported nationally that, when Favre arrived, it created a “schism” on the team. When asked what kind of teammate Favre has been, Allen wasn’t shy – he never is – about giving his take.
“Phenomenal, honestly,” Allen said. “He is such a great guy. He is hilarious and I think I didn’t get to see it until I played with him. Being a fan of football, obviously I watched Brett in college and then I got to play against him with the Chiefs and then got to play on the same team with him. You see why he is so great. I mean, that guy puts in the work. His work ethic is pretty impressive. I know when he first got there, he literally just got out of the car, (went) out to practice and he is already throwing passes and stuff. Then he comes in and the guy spends hours in the film room just to make sure that he knew the offense, he knew the calls, he knew the checks. I remember calling one time Friday night, (asking) ‘What’s going on?’ or whatever and he was still at the facility. I thought he was a great teammate – great work ethic. I mean, he gets along with everybody. He can find something to talk about with everybody on the team and that is what makes him a leader and that is what makes him what he truly is.”
If Favre needed any more expressions of love, that spoke volumes.
During his KTAR interview, Allen was also asked about his lack of a mullet, saying, “There comes a time in every man’s life when you have to please your mother and your wife. My wife, all she wanted was for the wedding was pictures without a mullet. I kind of got to blame my best man’s wife because he sent her all these of me pre-mullet and she was like ‘You were actually handsome at one point.’ My mom and her were double-teaming me, one is calling (and asking), ‘Are you going to cut it?’ They won and it got trimmed off. It’s kind of nice not to have a rat’s nest when you wake up in the morning.”
Tarvaris Jackson added his name to the chorus of players who said he doesn’t mind if Favre skips training camp, saying that he, Sage Rosenfels and Joe Webb can handle the reps needed. T-Jack didn’t have that feeling last year when Favre arrived, but, like everyone else on the team, has a different view of it now.
Nick Barnett of the Packers may have given the Vikings some bulletin board material. Appearing on the NFL Network Tuesday, Barnett said not only are the Packers going to unseat the Vikings as the NFC North champion, but they’re going to go to the Super Bowl.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.